On Wednesday, Tyler Mabry took an unofficial visit to Stanford. It was a big event for the big offensive tackle from San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker School, but it was not his first time on The Farm.
"I had visited once before when I was eight and my sister was looking at colleges," Mabry remembers. "She ended up going to Santa Clara, though she didn't finish there. She came back home. She kind of missed home."
"But we're pretty different," he laughs. "That experience didn't influence me at all. We're completely different people. Stanford has always been at the top of my list because it has the perfect combination of academics and athletics."
"I remember that visit because I was obsessed with the [Denver] Broncos," Mabry continues. "I found out that John Elway went there, and I wanted to go to Stanford and play baseball like he did."
Looking at the 6'6.75" 299-pound high school senior, it is hard to picture a diamond king, but Mabry was too large to play football the whole time he was growing up. Not until high school was he allowed to put on pads and play the great American gridiron game.
In just his third year of the sport, Mabry has made great strides. He has the last two seasons been named Most Improved Player for his high school team, and both of those seasons he earned First Team All-League honors. Mabry made waves starting at both offensive tackle and defensive tackle last fall for the Lancers, but it was offense where he and his team grooved in 2005. Parker exploded for 39.2 points per game en route to a 12-1 record and CIF San Diego Section Division V championship.
"Our quarterback had plenty of time to pass," the right tackle reports. "He only had one interception all year and threw for about 20 touchdowns. We gave up only one sack as a line, and I didn't give up any. Our running back rushed for 1,000 yards, and another had 800 yards."
Mabry's meteoric success, as well as his junior film, caught the notice of college football coaches in recent months. Now the owner of 11 offers, including five from the Pac-10, this small school tackle stands among the best in the West for 2007.
"They started coming a while ago, and they've kept coming. It was kind of overwhelming," Mabry admits. "San Diego State, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Oregon, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, Boise State and UTEP."
The 11th and most recent offer hit Wednesday for the San Diego standout while he visited Stanford. It was a busy day of touring the campus and meeting with coaches, including Walt Harris, Tom Freeman, Doug Sams, A.J. Christoff and Nate Nelson. It was a meeting with the head man that turned Mabry's day upside down, however.
"Coach Harris said he was impressed with what he saw on film, and he was impressed with what I have done in the classroom. And he would like to offer me a scholarship, pending my getting admitted to the school," the recruit recalls. "It was a mix of surprise and relief. Stanford was my top choice, and I was happy that they liked me, too."
"I walked out of the office, and about 10 minutes later I walked back in and committed," Mabry says. "I loved everything that I saw, so I decided to commit. Basically, I felt completely comfortable. Stanford has everything I want."
Now, Stanford wants something from Tyler Mabry: to complete and submit a stellar admissions application.
"I definitely know that it's important. I'm not automatically in because academics are so important to Stanford," he explains. "I have to get recommendations from my teachers and write the essays. I have a timeline to get everything in."
Mabry has to carry himself well with the application, but he has a good head start with a 31 on the ACT. The supersized student-athlete also owns a 3.9 (weighted) GPA, most recently taking two AP and two honors courses during his junior year.
"I challenge myself," Mabry remarks.
Those three words summarize this student-athlete in a nutshell, and why Stanford is excited to add him as the Cardinal's fourth public commitment in the 2007 class. Stay tuned for more on Mabry, including video highlights from his junior season.
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